The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 is receiving a major software update that should improve its health- and fitness-tracking abilities. New tools for setting goals, getting coached and customizing workouts could make one the best smartwatches around ever better.
Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Watch 4 Classic users can install the software update starting Feb. 9 — the same day as the Samsung Unpacked event where the Samsung Galaxy S22 series should take the stage. As if the best Samsung watch wasn’t already destined to become the ultimate S22 accessory, there are three new features that will be added to the Samsung Health suite.
More insights around body composition
If you know how to use Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 to measure body composition, you know the non-invasive BIA sensor can read your body fat percentage, body mass index (BMI), muscle mass, bone mass, body water percentage and more. Body composition readings via the Galaxy Watch (or any of the best smart scales, for that matter) aren’t a replacement for regular check-ups, but come in handy for monitoring body changes as a result of new fitness routines.
With the new software update, these metrics can be tracked over time to inform personalized insights and goals. The insights will be powered by Centr2, a digital fitness program curated by Chris Hemsworth. Considering how impressed we are by Chris Hemsworth’s arm workout, we’d definitely be willing to hear Thor’s advice for getting in shape. Galaxy Watch 4 users will also get to try out all of Centr2’s features free for 30 days.
Better fitness and sleep tracking
Anyone who’s taken up running or biking might be more excited by Samsung’s new interval target feature. Users can establish pre-set duration and distance goals, then their Galaxy Watch 4 will guide them through a custom intensity training session. Some of the best running watches (especially the best Garmin watches) already have similar features, but it’s good to see Samsung catching up.
But the Galaxy Watch 4’s software update won’t just help during workouts. There’s a new feature that supports recovery, too. Samsung is overhauling the smartwatch’s sleep-tracking features by now tracking sleep patterns over seven days and fielding manual user sleep surveys. Using this data, the watch’s sleep tracking program will assign an animal-themed sleep profile that best describes the user’s sleep habits, and then coach the user through a multi-week program designed to improve sleep quality.
One of the hallmarks of the best fitness trackers is a well-rounded approach to tracking health, meaning recovery is prioritized as much as step-counting and tallying exercise minutes. Fitbit’s Daily Readiness Score and the Oura Ring Generations 3’s readiness score are good examples of how sleep data can inform how much effort a user can effectively put into their workouts for the day. The Galaxy Watch 4 doesn’t have its own readiness score, but the new sleep features appear to be heading in that direction.
New watch faces and watch bands
In addition to the fitness-tracking features detailed above, this Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 software update includes new watch faces and watch band accessories. The upgraded faces offer “additional colors and digital clock fonts,” while shoppers can now find interchangeable fabric band and link strap options.
There are a couple of enhancements to Wear OS 3 on the Galaxy Watch 4 worth noting too. Users will be able to stream music over Wi-Fi or LTE from the YouTube Music app, independent of the paired smartphone.
Perhaps more importantly, Samsung has announced that Google Assistant “will be available on Galaxy Watch 4 series in the coming months.” We were disappointed that the Galaxy Watch 4 was missing this feature at launch, but the upcoming addition should make the best smartwatch for Android more attractive to those who like voice controls. In our experience, Bixby doesn’t cut it.
Samsung will probably take a moment during the Unpacked keynote on February 9 to mention the new Galaxy Watch 4 features. Be sure to check out our guide on how to watch Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2022 to follow along with the biggest announcements.